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Fear of Porn URL Exposure Discourages Firefox 3 Upgrade 673

Posted by timothy
from the porn-mode-incomplete-until-it's-a-separate-browser dept.
Barence writes "Mozilla's Security team has disclosed a very interesting piece of research which suggests people refused to upgrade to Firefox 3 because they were afraid the browser would expose their porn collection. Mozilla's research found that the number one reason for not upgrading was the new location bar, and the fact that it delved into people's bookmark collections to suggest sites as they typed. 'When we expanded the capabilities of the location bar to search against all history and bookmarks in Firefox 3, a lot of people contacted us to say that they had certain bookmarks they didn't really want to have displayed,' Firefox's principal designer, Alex Faaborg, tactfully explains. 'In some cases users had intentionally hidden these bookmarks in deep hierarchies of folders, somewhat similar to how one might hide a physical object.'"
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Fear of Porn URL Exposure Discourages Firefox 3 Upgrade

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  • by Desler (1608317) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:03PM (#29205019)
    Did you even bother to read the summary? This is about the awesome bar going into your bookmarks and then adding those URLs in as suggested site to go to. This has nothing to do with clearing your history or cookies or anything else.
  • HistoryBlock (Score:4, Informative)

    by ForexCoder (1208982) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:03PM (#29205025)
    History Block [mozilla.org] fixes this problem very nicely. It let's you setup a block list of urls that should not appear in the history.
  • about:config (Score:3, Informative)

    by BassMan449 (1356143) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:04PM (#29205041)
    It is configurable, albeit not through the options dialog. In about:config browser.urlbar.maxRichResults = 1 or 0 1 for firefox 2 style, 0 for no search browser.urlbar.matchOnlyTyped = true That will turn it off, if it really bothers you
  • by JacobSteelsmith (911307) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:06PM (#29205089) Homepage
    From http://kb.mozillazine.org/Disabling_autocomplete_-_Firefox [mozillazine.org] To prevent entries from History or bookmarked items from appearing but show those that you have specifically typed into the Location Bar (url bar), use about:config to toggle browser.urlbar.matchonlytyped to true. To completely disable the Location Bar autocomplete function in Firefox 3, modify the preference browser.urlbar.maxRichResults to 0 (zero). [1]
  • by atarione (601740) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:19PM (#29205331)

    you can use the profile manger to make a "special" (/cough pron) profile then switch to that for your "special" browsing needs then swtich back to you wife/boss/kid ..etc safe profile when you are ummm done..... YOU SICK BASTARD =p

    http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_Manager [mozillazine.org]

  • Re:about:config (Score:5, Informative)

    by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@NoSPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:20PM (#29205341) Homepage

    You need to use about:config for 3.0, but in 3.5 they included the option to disable location bar searching in options... that's the whole point of this story, Mozilla took user feedback based on users who wouldn't upgrade to fix the issues they had with 3.0.

    It's very easy to find now, under Privacy in Options at the bottom.

  • Re:Umm .... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Knara (9377) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:26PM (#29205429)

    Technically, it is configurable (about:config has a property that disables the bookmark searching), just not with a neat radio button.

    Easy to find with a little googling, as well. I'd think that anyone trying to "hide" bookmarks in this way would have already figured it out.

  • by snl2587 (1177409) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:33PM (#29205555)
    ...which is what the last version of Firefox added with "Private Browsing".
  • Re:Browse safely (Score:2, Informative)

    by flappinbooger (574405) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:38PM (#29205659) Homepage
    "Now, you MUST upgrade to Firefox 3, or be branded a pervert."

    Because only perverts use microsoft products! Wait...
  • Your FF is bugged. Clear Private Data removes everything but the bookmarks from my awesomebar.

    That's not the intended functionality.

  • by srjh (1316705) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:49PM (#29205887)

    There is no "browser.urlbar.matchonlytyped". At least not in Firefox 3.5.2...

    Turns out it's got something to do with the "browser.urlbar.default.behavior" entry, which consists of:

    1: history
    2: bookmarked
    4: match tag
    8: match title
    16: match URL
    32: match typed

    So to kill the annoying bookmark/tag/title matching, set it to 1+8+16+32 = 49

    I've also been told you can modify "places.frecency.unvisitedBookmarkBonus", but every time I do that Firefox changes it back.

    So much for user friendliness...

  • by Ian Alexander (997430) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:54PM (#29205981)
    Go to the preferences dialog, go to "Privacy" tab. There's an option which allows you to pick what kinds of data the Location Bar should look through.

    Select "nothing" and it won't look through either your history or your bookmarks.
  • Re:Simple Answer (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @02:57PM (#29206059)

    Use different browsers for different purposes.

    Or, just use different profiles for different purposes.

    If you start firefox with these command-line options:

    -no-remote -ProfileManager

    you get a pop-up asking you which profile to use. You can have completely seperate profiles with different themes, different plugins, different bookmarks, different histories, different caches, etc -- they do not share information across profiles. You can even set a default profile so that if you don't use the profile manager, that specific profile is the one that gets loaded.

    I have a default for general browsing with almost all cookies and javascript blocked, one just for google mail that lets google set cookies and use javascript, and another one called "blank man" which is pretty open, but deletes everything on exit (cookies, history, etc) which I use one-shot at a time whenever I go to a website that wants personal information like amazon or my bank. One could easily have a 'pr0n' profile that they only run when they are in the mood and is otherwise never even seen.

  • by JeanPaulBob (585149) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @03:01PM (#29206149)
    FYI, conservative Christian here.

    The reason I don't watch porn has nothing to do with thinking that sex is dirty.
  • by Shikaku (1129753) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @03:42PM (#29206801)

    Psh. Have you seen the new temporary guest account in Ubuntu? It can be used basically as the Private Browsing mode for the entire computer. Complete lockdown, new Firefox Profile, etc. and when you log off, everything is erased.

    And all I have to do is click my username on the top right and hit Guest Session.

  • Re:Umm .... (Score:3, Informative)

    by brusk (135896) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @03:44PM (#29206845)
    Handy tip: with Firefox you can type the MIDDLE of a URL/Title and it will find it. So you can just type "utub" and it won't bring up youporn.
  • by story645 (1278106) <story645@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @05:48PM (#29208779) Journal

    Is that in the bible or something?

    The Jewish variant (which is basically the Christian variant without the whole sex is dirty insanity) boils down to: sex is a special/holy act to be shared with a spouse (bonus points if it's for the production of children) and therefore viewing/reading/doing it outside of marriage cheapens the act/takes away its specialness/etc. There's also all sorts of old testament stuff about viewing immodest acts/immodestly dressed women that porn also falls under for hardliners.

  • by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @06:09PM (#29209075) Journal
    Here [biblegateway.com]
  • by springbox (853816) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @06:11PM (#29209093)
    Might I suggest:
    • Firefox 3: Tools -> Clear Recent History
    • Firefox 3: Tools -> Start Private Browsing (or ctrl+shift+p)
    • Doing your search at home

    It's still possible to find your browsing history in other browsers

  • Re:Browse safely (Score:3, Informative)

    by lysergic.acid (845423) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @07:54PM (#29210361) Homepage

    A few things:

    First, there should really be an option to disable the awesome bar if there isn't one already (I quite like it personally, but I can understand if others don't find its suggestions useful).

    Secondly, you could also try using online bookmarking services; that along with an extension that clears your browsing history when you close Firefox, should keep your porn surfing pretty well hidden.

    Lastly, you can create a separate browser profile for your porn surfing. I do this on my own computer, not because I'm worried about people finding out that (gasp!) I look at porn, but because I find it convenient to use different sets of profiles for different tasks. For instance, if I'm doing web design/development, then I have all my web development-related extensions loaded (firebug, javascript debugger, etc.) and my Bookmarks Toolbar and Search Plugins list only contain web-design/development-related resources. I get less distracted this way, and I also don't have to sift through so many bookmarks or search tools. I also find that my browser loads much faster using 4-5 different profiles with 10 extensions and 100-200 bookmarks each rather than a single profile with 50 extensions and 1000 bookmarks.

    On my desktop, Firefox will ask me which profile to load each time it starts up, but if you want to keep your porn-surfing a secret you can tell Firefox to use a default profile unless you deliberately switch the profile yourself.

  • by u38cg (607297) <calum@callingthetune.co.uk> on Thursday August 27, 2009 @05:43AM (#29214017) Homepage
    Another option, though of course I wouldn't do this, is to set up a new user, give it a uid of 1000 (then Ubuntu won't display it on any lists of users), and call the user something system-like, say http-x, and bury the home directory deep within /usr. Always log in as a second session and then you can safely Alt-F7/Alt-F9 as needed. Anyway, that's how I'd do it. Yeah.

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